English composer and conductor Guy Woolfenden was born in Ipswich on 12 July 1937. After studying music at Christ's College Cambridge, he continued his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, becoming head of music there from 1963 until 1998. He was also artistic director of the Cambridge Festival (1986-1991) and was a founder director of the English Music Festival (later the Stratford on Avon Music Festival). He founded the publishing company Ariel Music.
His compositions include many scores for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and he also worked with other theatre companies in Europe. His film music includes the 1968 Work is a Four-Letter Word, plus film and TV versions of Shakespeare plays. There are also three musicals, a children's opera, two three-act ballets, works for orchestra and chamber ensembles. His wind band music includes the 1991 Mockbeggar Variations, written for the Berkshire County Music Service.
As a conductor, he worked with many major British orchestras, and led three productions with Scottish Opera. In London he conducted the first British productions of Nielsen's Saul og David, Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans and Liszt's Don Sanche. He presented various programmes for BBC Radio 3.
Guy Woolfenden died at his home in Oxfordshire on 15 April 2016, aged seventy-eight.
A selection of M&V articles about Guy Woolfenden
Ensemble. A Valentine Extravaganza - Julian Jacobson in the first of his orchestral Valentine Extravaganzas, enjoyed by Malcolm Troup